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Gentle as doves…

Someone once showed me a video of a woman going completely out of her mind at a drive through restaurant because she had to wait three minutes for her cookies. Obscenities and insults flew out of her mouth and, a few times, she leaned out of the car window to pound on the drive through window. Over cookies. That only took three whole minutes to bake.

The manager of the restaurant, in a tremendous show of patience, calmly spoke to the customer to the tune of, I understand you are upset, but I cannot make the cookies bake any faster and cussing at me won’t get the cookies baked, either.

The character quality of patience allows us to endure difficult or frustrating circumstances without complaining, losing our tempers, or resorting to other destructive measures. One look around society today and we see a trend in the loss of patience. The instant gratification we have been receiving from the conveniences of modern life has removed the need to ‘wait it out’.

Our marriage went through a difficult season that chipped away at both of us until we were acting like a couple of impatient toddlers. The quirks that were once so cute and adorable became the very reasons we were resenting each other. I had an entire list of things my husband did that infuriated me and the list got sillier and more ridiculous the longer it got.

One evening I was standing in the kitchen screeching like a boiling kettle and saying through clenched teeth, “My patience is wearing thin!”

The attitude of my heart probably wasn’t much different than the lady pounding on the window for her cookies. I was immediately hit with 1 Corinthians 13 twirling around in my mind like a storm. I began to see all of the attributes and qualities of love; patience, kindness, forgiveness, no pride or boasting, it isn’t selfish, and love honors.

I did not recognize myself in 1 Corinthians 13 or even Galatians 5:22-23, so I started to wonder what my faith walk looked like to God.

Suddenly, I saw that I was being self-righteous (you messed up and I did not), proud (you are wrong and I am right), unforgiving (I cannot let go of this), unkind (What am I? A maid? Get your own drink of water!), selfish (my hurt feelings are more important than your feelings), dishonorable (let me complain to you about…), boasting (my spiritual growth is better than your spiritual growth), and impatient (if you mess up one more time…).

Thankfully, my husband and I weathered that season, moved into a much better season, and grew in an abundance of patience toward one another.

The result of us both shifting our focus has been a deep sense of freedom.

The virtues of love listed in 1 Corinthians 13 were designed to go together and the result of those characteristics working in unison is humility.  If any one of those qualities goes missing, then the whole kit and caboodle comes undone.

I came across a statement by another blogger and I have meditated on that thought since I first saw it. SlimJim says, “Humility: The virtue that confirms our other virtues are real and not just ‘self-righteousness.’

I think that right there sums it up.

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44 thoughts on “Gentle as doves…”

  1. Thank you for sharing your walk of faith. Finding and getting to know a spiritually humble person is such a blessing. My spiritual mentor is a humble servant as is his wife. It is a quality I pray about to be brought out on my walk of faith….to get to that point is such a challenge but with God all things are possible!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s so true that sometimes we are just made ‘aware’ of our words and actions. It came to me once many years ago, that we are (were) more courteous to those outside the home than inside… We often don’t ask politely even to ask our children to do something,, we don’t say our please and thank you’s, or acknowledge when someone does or says something nice, and sometimes react negatively to them instead of positively; lack of patience.
    As you said so well, the characteristics in 1 Cor.13 are a good way of measuring our words and actions…. Diane

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I loved this. Well said. I remember in faith really struggling with the idea of sweet, gentle spirits and thinking “Well, I’m doomed. Sorry Lord, there’s no way I’ll ever pull that off.” It’s come to pass however and hubby, well he just has a way of making me want to be gentle as a dove,forgiving, merciful. It wasn’t easy though, for a number of years. Someone smart once said marriage is just one act of forgiveness after another. I think that’s really true. Once we can cultivate some humility and forgiveness, everything else comes into focus.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Traditionally a place of sacrifice, blood and guts, all that. Forget the nice bows and lace. We’re talking seriously laying it down for “the other”. I guess that doesn’t translate well in a white dress…??

        Liked by 1 person

  4. “The virtues of love listed in 1 Corinthians 13 were designed to go together and the result of those characteristics working in unison is humility. If any one of those qualities goes missing, then the whole kit and caboodle comes undone.” Nicely put. I couldn’t agree more.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for this Valentine, anytime post of honesty, and humility. It takes two to make a marriage, but takes one to break it. We are thankful that in Christian marriage, He is the glue that binds us, and the oil that heals us. We went through tough time also, but we also learned that we couldn’t have handled them without each other! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I love this! God is teaching me the how to itemize the aspects of love in my heart and apply them every day. The imagery of the woman and her cookies will stick with me when I begin to forfeit peace for impatience. Be blessed sis!!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Good post. Being gentle is totally a work of the Spirit…it goes against the grain of our flesh and what our world says. Thanks for putting that quote too again and thank you for this post sister.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Good post. I have seen people be very unkind to others in public. When I was younger I had a terrible temper. Through the years I have learned to control that temper. I give God and his word credit for the change in my attitude. Patience when dealing with situations that aggravate us in life comes from practicing emotional self-control.

    Liked by 2 people

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  10. That is a great quote. I loved your story. It was vulnerable and real. I know you have given reason to pause to everyone who reads it to consider how we are looking through the mirror of 1 Cor 13 and where we can grow. You’re an amazing lady.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is a good one. I am perfectly flawed myself and still working on a lot of self improvement. Patience is really a virtue and something that we all need to make this world just a little better.

    Liked by 1 person

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